Oxfam crisis deepens as chief executive fights to save job

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Charity has to prove "moral leadership" in wake of sex scandal 

12th February 2018 by Robert Armour 1 Comment

Mark Goldring says his fate is in the hands of Oxfam’s trustees as a sex scandal threatens the future of the aid charity.

Goldring, chief executive since 2013, will try to save his job after international development secretary Penny Mordaunt accused the charity of failing in its “moral leadership”.

Asked if he would resign as chief executive, Goldring said: “If that’s what my board of trustees asked for I would do it immediately.” 

He and other senior executives will meet with the UK government today (12 February), in an attempt to explain why Oxfam allegedly covered up revelations about its staff sleeping with prostitutes in Haiti in the wake of the devastating earthquake in 2010.

The scandal broke on Friday when The Times alleged Oxfam’s country director for Haiti, Roland van Hauwermeiren, used prostitutes at a villa rented for him by Oxfam druing the aid operation. 

The paper claims Oxfam did not tell other aid agencies about the behaviour of staff after they had left to work elsewhere and that Oxfam had covered up the scandal.

Van Hauwermeiren went on to become head of mission for Action Against Hunger in Bangladesh in 2012-14.

The French charity said that Oxfam did not share “any details regarding unethical conduct, the reasons of his resignation or the results or of internal inquiry.”

Mordaunt said Oxfam had failed in its "moral leadership" and did "absolutely the wrong thing" by not reporting the detail of the allegations and that no organisation could be a government partner if it did not "have the moral leadership to do the right thing".

She has demanded Oxfam bosses provide proof there can be no repetition of the Haiti scandal. If not Mordaunt said she would have “no hesitation” in pulling its funding which amounted to £34m last year.   

Prime minister Theresa May also called for a “full and urgent investigation” into the charity.

Caroline Thomson, Oxfam’s chair, said the charity's board had appointed a consultant earlier this year to review its culture and working practices. This would now be extended.

"It is not sufficient to be appalled by the behaviour of our former staff - we must and will learn from it and use it as a spur to improvement," she said.

The Charity Commission said it had written to Oxfam "as a matter of urgency" to request further information and "establish greater clarity".

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13th February 2018 by lok yue

There was a furious outcry about the behaviour of the now defunct Presidents Club. How much wose and how truly disgusting is this?